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Supreme Court’s full verdict on poll petition out today

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

The Supreme Court is today expected to release its full judgement detailing reasons why it dismissed two petitions challenging the October 26 repeat presidential poll won by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

A six-judge Bench led by Chief Justice David Maraga unanimously dismissed cases by former MP Harun Mwau and two activists challenging Uhuru’s re-election. The repeat poll was held after the August 8 presidential poll was nullified by the top court citing illegalities and irregularities.

But in a brief ruling on November 20 regarding the repeat poll results, the Chief Justice said the petitions were dismissed for lack of merit. “The court has unanimously determined that the petitions are not merited and the final orders are that the petition by John Harun Mwau versus the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and two others as consolidated is hereby dismissed,” said Maraga.

He added that, the petition by Njonjo Mue and another versus the chairperson of IEBC and three others as consolidated was also dismissed. “As a consequence, the presidential election of October 26 is hereby upheld as is the election of Uhuru Kenyatta,” added Maraga.

The ruling paved way Uhuru’s swearing-in on November 28 for a second and last term. The full judgement is expected to answer issues raised by Mwau including whether IEBC was required to conduct fresh nominations before the repeat election.

Judges will also determine whether IEBC should have proceeded to declare Uhuru elected, four counties having failed to participate in the poll on account of violence.

The court will also be expected to answer the question of what happens when a presidential candidate withdraws from the race before an election.

Nasa presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga and his running-mate Kalonzo Musyoka opted out of the contest saying the IEBC had refused to meet their demands. The court will also outline if the repeat poll met the threshold of a free, fair and credible poll as stipulated by the Constitution and other electoral laws.

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